The Childcare Industry and the De-Fathering of Society Part 3
The childcare industry is experiencing phenomenal growth and providing lucrative returns for the owners of private childcare centres. This growth is fed by the provision of government funding for childcare.
While the subsidies are designed to encourage mothers of young children to work, the benefits are available also to sole mothers. However the ‘assistance’ sole parents get from other government agencies encourages them not to work, and imposes severe financial penalties on them if they allow the father to care for his children.
The cost of childcare for sole parents receiving social security varies, but can be as low as about $5 per day. For $5 per day a custodial parent can offload their responsibilities to a government-funded profit-making childcare centre without risking their income stream. They are not required to inform the Child Support Agency, which continues to create ‘child support’ entitlements and enforce its collection on their behalf.
For $5 a day a custodial parent can go off and amuse themselves, while collecting a parenting allowance of up to $421.50 per fortnight and the associated benefits, rent assistance of up to $120 per fortnight, family allowance of up to $160 per fortnight for each child, and child support of up to $1,353.30 per fortnight — all tax-free.
And as for the non-custodial parent grieving over the loss of contact time with their children? Where is their place in this landscape of benefits, subsidies, assistance, tax-free income, entitlements and profit?
Every non-custodial parent knows the answers to these questions.
There is no place.
The effect of childcare subsidies on separated fathers and their children was never considered by the government or factored into the design of their policies.
I know of one father who desperately wants to care for his young children and has the capacity to do so. He wants no subsidies or financial benefits. He just wants to be a father to his children. These children are in subsidised childcare being looked after by paid workers. They are there for 5 days per week from 7.30 am until 5.30 pm. Because he is not caring for his children, the father has to pay child support to the mother. The mother, who has priorities other than the personal care of her children would surrender huge financial benefits if she allowed the father to care for his children.
This should be criminal, but it’s not. It’s the law. Australian law. Australian family law.
[Photo by Kelli McClintock